Byter up: Ballparks go high-tech News & Analysis 3/31/1999 Post a comment The crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd. The smell of freshly mowed grass. Now add the soundless blur of DSP calculations, the invisible formatting of HDTV images, the soft hum of electronic turnstiles taking tickets and you've got a ball game.
JVC, Sony ally on D-VHS recorder interface News & Analysis 3/31/1999 Post a comment Victor Co. of Japan Ltd. (JVC) and Sony Corp. have allied to jointly develop the interface for the D-VHS recorder. The partnership will combine IEEE-1394-related technologies that Sony is promoting as i.Link with JVC's D-VHS format, with an aim to position the D-VHS recorder as the most practical digital-video recorder for home networks that use the 1394 serial interface.
0.15-micron process promises boost for TI DSPs News & Analysis 3/31/1999 Post a comment Texas Instruments Inc. expects that a switch to 0.15-micron (L-effective) process technology will offer tighter packing densities and higher clock rates that will supercharge its TMS320C5000 product line. The process also allows more memory on each device, said C5000 marketing manager Mark Mattson.
PLD vendors foresee flurry of hiring News & Analysis 3/31/1999 Post a comment The boom in networking and telecommunications has been an unqualified blessing for the makers of programmable-logic devices. Despite a slowdown last year in the market for PLDs, experts say the sector is headed for double-digit growth in the near future.
T1 framer, interface unit debut News & Analysis 3/31/1999 Post a comment Nortel Networks Inc.'s microelectronics group is making its first big merchant semiconductor thrust since the Bay Networks merger, debuting a 28-channel T1 framer with an integrated M13 multiplexer the company calls the Lunar chip. Lunar is intended to address the channelized T3 market by carrying up to 672 DS-0 (64-kbit) or 28 DS-1 (1.5-Mbit) channels, a density several times that of traditional quad or octal framers on the market.
Software simulation rises with Playstation's tide News & Analysis 3/31/1999 Post a comment In a possible software simulation breakthrough, Cygnus Solutions Inc. has delivered a simulation package for the Sony Playstation 2 that allowed game developers to begin software testing before the proprietary game platform was even available.
Displaytech enters mini-LCD manufacturing partnership News & Analysis 3/31/1999 Post a comment Displaytech Inc. (Longmont, Colo.), a maker of miniature LCDs, announced Monday (March 29) that it has snagged Miyota Co. Ltd. as a strategic manufacturing partner, forming a relationship that will help crank up the international supply of mini-LCDs. The companies clearly have their eye on consumer electronics, especially virtual displays for cell phones and digital cameras and projection displays for large computer monitors and TVs.
Another foundry opens in Taiwan News & Analysis 3/31/1999 Post a comment Episil Technology Inc., a supplier of epitaxial wafers, has acquired a 55 percent stake in a 6-inch wafer plant owned and operated by Acer Semiconductor Manufacturing Inc.
TI licenses RISC core from NEC News & Analysis 3/31/1999 Post a comment Texas Instruments Inc. has taken a license for NEC Corp.'s V850E embedded RISC core. The move gives TI a RISC platform with which to woo new customers and gives NEC a means to gain incremental revenue and widen the architecture's customer base.
Mitsubishi to lay off 14,500 News & Analysis 3/31/1999 Post a comment Battered by fiscal year-end losses, Mitsubishi Electric Corp. today launched a plan to restore profitability, stating it would aggressively seek joint-venture partners while laying off 14,500 employees over a three-year period.
Chip growth in 1998 revised downward by Dataquest News & Analysis 3/31/1999 Post a comment A revision of semiconductor market growth estimates by Dataquest Inc. shows 1998 was a little worse than previously thought for most of the industry's top 10 chip suppliers. In the revised 1998 ranking released Wednesday (March 31), only Intel Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. had slightly higher growth rates than in the preliminary estimates Dataquest released in early January.
Hitachi takes control of Singapore fab News & Analysis 3/31/1999 Post a comment Hitachi Ltd. today said that it will assume management control of Hitachi Nippon Steel Semiconductor Singapore Pte. Ltd., a joint-venture DRAM fab in Singapore, because Nippon Steel Corp., one of the venture's partners, has decided to convert its 35 percent equity interest to nonvoting stock.
Intel breaks down product sales, profits News & Analysis 3/31/1999 Post a comment Intel Corp.'s heavy dependence on microprocessors and on a few major customers is evidenced in an accounting statement filed with its annual report for 1998, when the company reported an operating profit of $8.38 billion on revenues of $26.8 billion.
Intel, IBM break off I/O talks News & Analysis 3/30/1999 Post a comment Representatives from Intel Corp. and IBM Corp. have broken off talks aimed at ending a dispute over interconnect technology for future PC servers. As a result, the Next-Generation I/O Forum, which is backed by Intel, and the Future I/O group, which is supported by IBM, Compaq Computer Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co., are moving ahead with incompatible approaches to linking high-end systems and peripherals.
Researchers create artificial eye chip for robots News & Analysis 3/30/1999 Post a comment Harnessing neural-network technology gleaned from the biology of the human eye, a Johns Hopkins University researcher has demonstrated a "smart eye" chip that combines image sensing with filtering and object-tracking capabilities. The brainchild of Ralph Etienne-Cummings, the circuit is based on a hybrid analog-digital CMOS technology and is touted as being much faster than distributed-component systems that use separate chips such as an image sensor, microcontroller and non-volatile RAM
Toshiba enters bus switch market News & Analysis 3/30/1999 Post a comment Toshiba Corp. has become the first Japanese supplier of bus switch ICs with the launch today (March 30) of its TC7MB series, the company said. Toshiba's new family is aimed at a market segment that is growing 20 percent a year, according to market research firm Insight Onsite.
1st Silicon to build foundry in Borneo News & Analysis 3/30/1999 Post a comment A once dead fab project has been resurrected in the jungles of Borneo. A foundry named 1st Silicon announced Tuesday (March 30) that it has obtained both the financing and the technology support that will enable it to build an 8-inch, 0.25-micron wafer fabrication facility in Malaysia.
Micro Linear opens design center in Scotland News & Analysis 3/30/1999 Post a comment Micro Linear Corp. has announced plans to open a development center in Livingston, Scotland, boosting the ambitious Alba project, which is looking to establish a cluster of system-level design companies in the area.
Major changes in store for NEC, president says News & Analysis 3/30/1999 Post a comment NEC Corp.'s newly appointed president, Koji Nishigaki, promised to remake the struggling electronics giant into a profit-generating machine over the next several years by recasting its divisions as separate in-house companies in order to nurture individual creativity and strengthen NEC's global competitiveness.
Avant! unveils mixed-signal simulator News & Analysis 3/30/1999 Post a comment A mixed-signal IC simulator introduced Monday (March 29) by Avant! Corp. promises that performance simulations of million-transistor circuits will run 10 to 1,000 times faster than Spice. Star-MS is a dual-engine simulator built on two existing Avant! simulators the Star-Sim analog simulator initially developed by Anagram Inc., and the Polaris Verilog digital simulator. Avant! merged with Anagram in 1996.
Resources News & Analysis 3/30/1999 Post a comment The following listing details some of the standards organizations, vendors, consultants and SOC forums tackling issues related to systems-on-chip design.
Analog IP critical for system design News & Analysis 3/30/1999 Post a comment System-on-a-chip (SOC) technology is usually associated with the merging of digital circuits in the form of predesigned intellectual property (IP) blocks. But analog/mixed-signal (AMS) IP often has a critical system role to play even in ostensibly digital designs.
Infrastructure needed for complex design News & Analysis 3/30/1999 Post a comment System-on-chip designs offer many advantages. However, they also place a much greater burden on the IC manufacturing process because SOC brings board-level integration problems down to the chip level. That means that those concerns-power dissipation, design reuse, hardware/software codesign, design-for-test (DFT) and design for manufacturability (DFM)-must now be dealt with on the chip. Moreover, other integration challenges, normally associated with system-level design, are encountered. Among t